AN audience member on BBC Question Time won applause after saying he was happy to pay more tax to help lift children out of poverty.

The moment came as panelists and members of the crowd debated tax policy in Scotland, which sees lower earners pay slightly less and higher earners slightly more than they would south of the Border.

Overall, the majority of people pay less tax in Scotland than they would in England.

The Question Time discussion, which was broadcast from Glasgow on Thursday evening, asked whether “things like free prescriptions and free travel for young people” should be scrapped in Scotland.

Members of the audience spoke both for and against the policies.

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One lady raised concerns that free bus travel was “encouraging obesity” among young people, while another said she did not believe “youngsters should be having free travel [because] when I was young, we never got it”.

She went on: “Scotland needs to wake up to that because you can't keep taxing average people. My son's an average earner, and he will soon be hitting a very high tax bracket.

“For a young man and a young family, it's not fair, and Scotland cannot keep taxing, taxing and taxing.”

But others argued that using tax money to support young people was a “step in the right direction”. Two young members of the audience, both in full-time education, said the free bus pass policy was a great help for them attending university and saving money.

“It's just exactly the sort of thing the government should be doing, helping folk,” one audience member said.

Another man was applauded when he said he was happy to pay more tax.

“I’ve moved up a band so I’m paying a bit more tax, but I’m quite happy to do that to help children come out of poverty,” he said.

Scottish Green minister Patrick Harvie also argued for the progressive tax system.

He said: “The way to pay for collective provision of public services that make us all better off collectively is through progressive taxation.

“By having more progressive taxation in Scotland, there's an extra £1.5 billion in the Scottish budget every year to invest in public services.

“It's not enough, because we need the financial levers that independence would give us in order to make the big macroeconomic choices that would allow us to invest on the scale that the UK has been consistently failing to do.”

Malcolm Offord, the Tory minister in the Scotland Office who was handed a life peerage after giving £150,000 to the party and failing to win a seat at Holyrood, argued against the tax policy.

He claimed that taxing the highest earners “disincentivises” people from living in Scotland.